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  1. #21
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    Just send in the robots

    https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2018/04/07/...in-midair.html

    (Just kidding...I understand that bridge cost a fortune too)


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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by swisscross View Post
    not that a bridge should be built but is Chinese can build a 34 mile sea bridge one would have to believe a bridge could be built over the Kennebec.
    there already several bridges over the kennebec. can one be built is clearly not the issue. not remotely. does it make sense to? thats another issue and one that requires being able to view the situation as not just being about the desires of a couple thousand hikers a year.

    https://bridgehunter.com/category/wa...ennebec-river/

  3. #23
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    I thought the ferry crossing was awesome, took a little video going across. I think it goes well with the nature aspect of the trail being non motorized and not crossing a bridge for vehicles, or even any man made bridge. Maybe an official detour trail to the nearest bridge for when the ferry isn't running? …. I'm not saying that will stop anyone set on fording but just an option for an alternate way around, even if one is to hike back to the AT when the ferry is there to complete the entire thing. I have no idea how far the nearest bridge is though.... or if there is already an alternate way but I don't recall seeing any.

  4. #24

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    Aint that hard
    Not that expensive
    At least not impossibly expensive
    Exist in backcountry in various places

    But a canoe and paddler is cheaper
    Dont need something a car can drive across

    One of these
    ponte-suspensa-sobre.jpg
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 10-31-2018 at 16:33.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Aint that hard
    Not that expensive
    At least not impossibly expensive
    Exist in backcountry in various places

    But a canoe and paddler is cheaper
    Dont need something a car can drive across

    One of these
    ponte-suspensa-sobre.jpg
    that looks a heck of a lot shorter a span than the kennebec.

    last time we had this discussion someone cited this bridge as proof of feasibility of bridging the kennebec-

    https://www.backpacker.com/news-and-...ail-end-to-end

    from looking at pictures of it though it seems as though the actual part thats over the river is way shorter than the span of the kennebec. the overall length of the bridge is long but a good portion appears to be over land and the two towers are on the banks, not in the river.

    but really i think thats all besides the point. a bridge simply doesnt need to exist just so 2000 people a year can walk across it one time.

    it raises an interesting related, somewhat, question- what is the longest footbridge on the AT built entirely for purposes of the trail being on it? (so james river is out)

    most of the major river crossings are sidewalks on motor vehicle bridges. the tye river maybe? its about all that comes to mind. the pochuck boardwalk perhaps, if you want to count all of that as being bridge. same for the similar one in VT i forget the name of.

  6. #26
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    That's not bad IMO. Only a 10% loss after about two weeks of decent terrain.
    Certainly much lower drop rate than NOBO's in the same time period.
    Quote Originally Posted by map man View Post
    This the first year I can remember where there is tangible proof of fewer thru-hikers in Maine. There were 1302 NOBOs at the Kennebec in 2017 versus 1213 in 2018; 426 SOBOs in 2017 versus 381 in 2018; 275 flip-floppers in 2017 and 265 in 2018. Yes, it's possible that attrition was higher for NOBOs this year but that doesn't explain why SOBOs were also down in about the same proportion.
    The following statements are not my personal opinion, but some observations and overhearings:

    "The AT is overcowded and boring."
    "There is nothing to see and you never really break treeline."
    " It's infected with too many (insert group here) people."

    On the positive side, perhaps things are calming down a little. The PCT is not only gaining in popularity but is also increasing in accessibility for beginners.
    The old adage that one must do the AT before the PCT (and the PCT before the AT) is also no longer true and that may relieve some pressure.
    Awareness of other trails is increasing, and the quality of those trails are going up too. No longer is the AT the only well cared for trail, nor the PCT the only 'remote' alternative. The CDT is not some taboo trail reserved for triple crowners only. There are a solid dozen good options out there.

    There are decent long distance hikes available in nearly every region of our country now as well. So it's possible to scratch that first timers itch without trekking to Georgia to do it.
    Also possible that those local trails are not only taking up a little slack, but also weeding out a few dreamers.

    Or perhaps the curmudgeon's stance is correct; people like one and done day trips and extended hikes are not as popular.
    And general outdoor use is down overall.

    I realize that wasn't really what you were getting at...
    But changes in usage patterns everywhere seem uncharacteristically off.

  7. #27
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Aint that hard
    Not that expensive
    At least not impossibly expensive
    Exist in backcountry in various places

    But a canoe and paddler is cheaper
    Dont need something a car can drive across

    One of these
    ponte-suspensa-sobre.jpg
    That bridge is cute. Wouldn't make it through the first Spring thaw over the Kennebec. In a few months, I'll drive up to Caratunk and take some pics of the crossing, if I can get close enough to it.

  8. #28

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    Some info to clear up some misconceptions about the Kennebec crossing

    The river is approximately 400-450 feet across at Caratunk, but a bridge would have to be a fair amount longer, my guess is 600 or more feet, to clear the banks and to be above the potential spring flood height and to also stay clear of the ice dams that happen every few winters up there.

    The nearest existing bridge is 13 miles south as the crow flies in Bingham. In reality is more like a 20ish mile logging road walk down Bowtown Road and Carry Pond Roads.

    The only other way across is to the north and would require using the Maine huts and trails system starting near Long Falls Dam road to cross the Dead River and onto their parking lot on rt 201. Then roadwalk from just above the forks roughly 8 miles down a very twisty heavy trafficked dangerous rt 201 to Caratunk. This would take you way way off the AT skipping over 17ish miles of the AT.

    The last way to get across that I can think of is to use the Arnold Trail to shortcut the route to Bingham. Leaving the AT on the west side of East Carry Pond and following that to Carry Pond Road and then on to Bingham, 12ish miles or so.

  9. #29

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    The weather was not kind to thru hikers this year. The early starters got slammed with a couple of big snow storms and nasty cold temps. Then came the thunderstorms and resulting floods. Then the heat and humidity. I'm sure all that was a big factor in the lower numbers this year.
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  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    That bridge is cute. Wouldn't make it through the first Spring thaw over the Kennebec. In a few months, I'll drive up to Caratunk and take some pics of the crossing, if I can get close enough to it.
    Only an example of a hiker suspension bridge.
    Plenty more
    Such as
    hanging-bridge-1985151_960_720.jpg
    599da459614d7927008b4c33-750-500.jpg

    Anyone that thinks it cant easily be done is foolish.

    But paying some guy afew bucks to paddle people across is cheapest option. The payout on the bridge would probably take 50 yrs, not including maintenance costs
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 10-31-2018 at 21:28.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    The payout on the bridge would probably take 50 yrs, not including maintenance costs
    and why would anyone think that was worthwhile?

    a bridge wide enough to carry 4 lanes of traffic in each direction and allow freighters to pass underneath it could be built at that location. it hasnt been done not because no one knows how, but because it isnt necessary.

    neither is a bridge for hikers.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    and why would anyone think that was worthwhile?

    a bridge wide enough to carry 4 lanes of traffic in each direction and allow freighters to pass underneath it could be built at that location. it hasnt been done not because no one knows how, but because it isnt necessary.

    neither is a bridge for hikers.
    When you get down to it, neither is a canoe for hikers necessary.

    Or having the AT at all

    What you have AT for , is because people like it

    And most do not like the canoe
    They would rather have a bridge and cross at their convenience, under own power, if cant ford.

    Reason more dont ford, is ATC has scared them into not fording anymore.

    Id rather see AT with zero shelters, and a bridge.
    Cost of 245 shelters might pay for a nice one.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 10-31-2018 at 22:16.

  13. #33
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    It seems to me that the 224 foot LT Winooski footbridge (north of Maine junction so just LT not LT/AT) only saves a few miles of road walking and was put in for a cost of roughly 2 million dollars. Also I would think that there are fewer LT hikers north of Maine junction then AT hikers in Maine each year. It's an absolutely beautiful bridge by the way and I very much enjoyed crossing it.

    https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/...kers/71143178/

    Sounds like the Green Mountain Club had this as a goal though for a very long time.

    I'm not familiar with the Kennebec crossing but thought this information re the LT bridge might add to the discussion. I take no position on what the best solution for the Kennebec crossing is but I'd be interested on the MATC's stance is on the matter if anyone knows. I would guess that they have given it some thought.
    LT End-to-Ender 2017; AT from Lehigh Gap to Hudson River; NH 34/48
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  14. #34
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by somers515 View Post
    It seems to me that the 224 foot LT Winooski footbridge (north of Maine junction so just LT not LT/AT) only saves a few miles of road walking and was put in for a cost of roughly 2 million dollars. Also I would think that there are fewer LT hikers north of Maine junction then AT hikers in Maine each year. It's an absolutely beautiful bridge by the way and I very much enjoyed crossing it.

    https://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/...kers/71143178/

    Sounds like the Green Mountain Club had this as a goal though for a very long time.

    I'm not familiar with the Kennebec crossing but thought this information re the LT bridge might add to the discussion. I take no position on what the best solution for the Kennebec crossing is but I'd be interested on the MATC's stance is on the matter if anyone knows. I would guess that they have given it some thought.
    That bridge is half the length of what would be required on the Kennebec, been in the planning stages for over a hundred years. I wouldnt hold my breath for a suspension bridge over the Kennebec any time, soon :-)

  15. #35

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    Another thing that can impact AT volume is the economy. When the economy is not doing well you get more older hikers taking early retirement and younger ones that are not able to find the job they want, and thus go on a long hike. When the economy is doing well a lot of your potential older hikers keep working and the younger ones find jobs they are interested in putting that alternative of a long distance hike off. I realize that does not impact everyone's decision, but could impact the 10-20% difference.
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  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    Another thing that can impact AT volume is the economy. When the economy is not doing well you get more older hikers taking early retirement and younger ones that are not able to find the job they want, and thus go on a long hike. When the economy is doing well a lot of your potential older hikers keep working and the younger ones find jobs they are interested in putting that alternative of a long distance hike off. I realize that does not impact everyone's decision, but could impact the 10-20% difference.
    I find the trend of # AT journals on trailjournals interesting.
    Peaked in 2014, declining the last few yrs. Has declined from.495 to 325. Lots of people that never start of course, but it shows something going on in peoples awareness or desire to hike AT. Potentially impact of movies,etc. Then again, people have realized how horribly and disgustingly overcrowded it is in spring, evidenced by early start shift.

    2017-2018 decline.....coincidentally.....10%
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 11-01-2018 at 04:33.

  17. #37
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    Mapman. I'd surmise Just Bill has given you the answer. More folks are going elsewhere to hike or be outdoors. The AT is no longer the epicenter of the world's hiking venues. For the AT curmudgeons that doesn't however mean the AT is no less feeling "well used."

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    When you get down to it, neither is a canoe for hikers necessary.

    Or having the AT at all

    What you have AT for , is because people like it

    And most do not like the canoe
    They would rather have a bridge and cross at their convenience, under own power, if cant ford.

    Reason more dont ford, is ATC has scared them into not fording anymore.

    Id rather see AT with zero shelters, and a bridge.
    Cost of 245 shelters might pay for a nice one.
    Then there'd be hikers sleeping under the bridge. Trash and mice would follow.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    And most do not like the canoe
    They would rather have a bridge and cross at their convenience, under own power, if cant ford.
    this assumes facts not in evidence

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    I find the trend of # AT journals on trailjournals interesting.
    Peaked in 2014, declining the last few yrs. Has declined from.495 to 325. Lots of people that never start of course, but it shows something going on in peoples awareness or desire to hike AT. Potentially impact of movies,etc. Then again, people have realized how horribly and disgustingly overcrowded it is in spring, evidenced by early start shift.

    2017-2018 decline.....coincidentally.....10%
    people write less is probably a simpler answer given that the number of hikers was still going up while your trail journal numbers were declining.

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